As we keep watch on news about COVID 19 some may wonder how this virus affects their pets. Firstly, realize there can be all sorts of random news on the internet. Therefore, we recommend following news from the WHO and the CDC so you get the facts. Also the AVMA is in regular contact with these organizations as well as state, national, and international veterinary and public health expert groups to learn the latest developments and their potential impacts on pets. Rest assured that we, as your veterinarians here in Cedar Falls, Iowa are staying up-to-date on the latest developments.
Key information about COVID 19 and Your Pets
Here is the latest information from the AVMA on COVID 19 :
- Transmission primarily occurs when there is contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions. For example, this could be saliva or mucus droplets from a cough or sneeze from a person.
- Transmission via touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes is also possible but appears to be a secondary route.
- Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, doorknobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur) because porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract through simple touch. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus.
How to Protect Your Pets
- While 2 dogs (Hong Kong) and 1 cat (Belgium) have been reported to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
- If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would. This includes walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. Continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; keep your pet well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
- It is highly recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
- Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.
- As always, careful hand washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.
- If you take your dog on a walk follow these precautions:
- Do on-leash walks only.
- Don’t let strangers pet your dog.
- Avoid dog parks
- Make sure to include your pet’s food and prescriptions when you shop.
For more information, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
We Are Here For You
To maintain safety for our community and our staff we are transitioning to curbside service. Curbside service will begin starting Monday, April 6. We will continue to be opened our normal hours.
We continue to offer our full veterinary services including surgeries and dental. Although our grooming department is closed, we are offering bath/nail trim services on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoon by appointment only for grooming patients. These will be done by the staff, not by the groomers.
How Does Curbside Service Work?
We want to minimize all contact with clients to protect staff and clients from COVID19. Here’s what will happen when you schedule an appointment:
- We will text or email forms to you to fill out prior to visits so we know what is going on with your pet and what we are to be doing during the appointment.
- When you arrive at our office for your pet’s appointment, send a text to us at 319-277-7675 that you are here. Then take your pet out of your car on a leash or in a carrier. For the safety of your pet they must be on a leash or in a carrier. We will not remove pets from the car.
- Wait for the staff member to come and get your pet. We will take your pet in and the doctor will call you during the exam to discuss what we are finding and any further questions.
- When we are done, you can pay over the phone or write a check that we will get when your animal is brought back out to you. If you want to send a credit card in to run the bill on, give it to the staff member who brings the animal inside to you.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation so that we can continue to serve you and your pets! Please contact us if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment.
Sincerely, Dr. Stevenson